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New Prison Will See Mt Eden Women's Close

A new women's prison in Manukau will enable Mt Eden Women's Prison to close and will help tackle reoffending, says Minister of Corrections Matt Robson.

Matt Robson has announced the preferred site for the new Auckland Region Women's Corrections Facility.

"I will seek a designation to build the prison on the site located off Roscommon Rd in Manukau City," says Matt Robson.

The new women's prison will serve the upper North Island area.

"Once this modern facility is up and running, I can close Mt Eden Women's Prison and end the transport of Auckland women to Wellington and Christchurch. They will not need to lose touch with their family, whanau and communities, which will help reduce re-offending.

"With a focus on rehabilitation, the new prison will help the reintegration of these women back into their communities."

The Department of Corrections has a shortage of over 60 beds for women inmates in Auckland. As a result, most women sentenced in the upper North Island are sent to Wellington and Christchurch.

"This shortage means children are being punished. Three-quarters of female inmates were looking after at least one child on their own before entering prison.

"The facilities at Mt Eden Women's Prison are old and inadequate, with no room for expansion. They do not promote rehabilitation."

Matt Robson will start the Resource Management Act process by the middle of the year, lodging a Notice of Requirement with the Manukau City Council. The Council will then call for submissions, giving the public another opportunity to have their say.

In the meantime, the Department will continue its consultation with neighbours and other key stakeholders.

Last month, Matt Robson announced the other site on the shortlist ? Price Rd ? was no longer available, as its vendor had entered into a purchase agreement with another party.

"The unavailability of the Price Rd site has had no impact on my decision to seek a designation on the Roscommon Rd site," he says.

"Both sites were subject to the same levels of technical scrutiny and public consultation even though at the eleventh hour, the Price Rd site was withdrawn."

Technical reports indicated siting a prison on Roscommon Rd would have fewer environmental effects than siting a prison on the Price Rd site. In the over 400 submissions the Department received on the shortlist, no preference was expressed for either one site or the other.


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